In 2006 the Patriots went on an overhaul with new wide receivers. The 2006 receiving core would boast Reche Caldwell, veteran Troy Brown, and rookie Chad Jackson. Jabar Gaffney would also be brought into the mix later on during the season.
The 2013 season, Brady has rookies Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, veteran Julian Edelman, and injured Danny Amendola as his main cast of targets.
Through 2 games in 2006 Brady had 50% comp, 483 yards, 3TD, and 2INT.
This year through 2 games he has 52.7% comp, 473 yds, 3TD, and 1INT.
The 2006 team started the season 2 – 0 against the Bills and Jets, just like this year’s team.
That is eerily similar numbers for Brady and the Patriots.
The 2006 Patriots would fall to the Denver Broncos in week 3, 7 – 17, but after that stumble, the offense began to take off week 4 against the Bengals, winning 38 – 13. They would go on a roll, winning the next 4 games before losing back to back games against the Colts and Jets. They would bounce back with a 35 – 0 win over the Packers, and take the next 3 games, and then would loss in a debacle to the Dolphins, 0 – 21. They would win the next 3 games and head into the postseason to meet their division rivals Jets.
In the postseason against the Jets, Jabar Gaffney, the wide receiver they signed to a deal on October 9th, would really take off. Gaffney caught 8 passes for 104 yards to help Brady and the Pats to defeat the Jets, 37 – 16. Brady would throw for 212 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
The next week the Patriots would be underdogs to the team who finished with the best record in football (14-2) the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers hosted the Patriots and featured a super studded offense with Philip Rivers at QB and NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson at RB. The Chargers were unbeaten at home during the regular season.
The game was a hard – fought game where both team’s offense would turn the ball over a combined 7 times. Chargers turned the ball over 4xs and the Patriots would turn it over 3xs. The game would be 14 – 10 at the half in favor of the San Diego Chargers.
The Chargers would go up in the 4th, 21-13 with an 8 point lead over the Patriots. With a little over 6 minutes left in the game on a 4th down play, Brady was picked off by the Chargers, but Pats WR Troy Brown stripped the defender, and Caldwell recovered it, giving New England new life. 4 plays later, Brady hit Caldwell for the TD to make it 21 – 19. On the very next play the Pats went for the 2 point conversion, RB Kevin Faulk took a direct snap in to tie the game at 21. After forcing a Chargers punt, Brady would hit Caldwell on a beautiful 49 yard strike to set up the eventual game winning field for Gostkowski. The Patriots took the 24 – 21 lead over the Chargers with 1:10 seconds left in the game. The Chargers would end up missing a 54 yard field goal, and the Patriots would advance to the AFC Championship Game.
In the Chargers – Patriots game, Brady would finish with 280 yards, 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Gaffney caught 10 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. Reche Caldwell would also catch 7 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.
In the AFC Championship Game against the Colts, we all know what happen, the Patriots would blow a 21 – 6 halftime lead, and eventually lose the game 38 – 34.
In the game the Patriots had a chance to ice it and on a 3rd and short the Colts forgot to cover Caldwell, and Brady fired a pass his way, but Caldwell inexcusably drops the pass. The Patriots were forced to punt. In the end, Brady threw for 232 yards, a touchdown, and 1 interception. Caldwell would have 4 catches for 46 yards, and one ugly drop. Gaffney would make a great leaping TD catch against the Colts.
The way this one ended, and Caldwell’s drop, lead to another overhaul of receivers for the 2007 season, seeing New England make big moves. The Patriots would trade with the Dolphins for Wes Welker, and make another trade with the Raiders for Randy Moss.
2006 regular season stats:
Brady: 319 completions, 3,529 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
Caldwell: 61 receptions, 760 yards receiving, 4 touchdowns
Troy Brown: 43 receptions, 384 yards receiving, 4 touchdowns
Chad Jackson: 13 receptions, 152 yards receiving, 3 touchdowns
Gaffney(played in 7 games): 11 receptions, 142 yards receiving, 1 touchdowns
2006 playoff stats:
Brady: 70 completions, 724 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, 4 interceptions
Caldwell: 16 receptions, 176 yards receiving, 1 touchdowns
Gaffney: 21 receptions, 244 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns
Jackson: 0 receptions, 2 targets, 0 yards receiving, 0 touchdowns
Brown: 9 receptions, 97 yards receiving, 0 touchdowns
Now that I have recapped the 2006 season and postseason, it is time to dive back into the 2013 season starring Tom Brady.
Brady’s numbers are 48 completions, 343 yards, and 3 touchdowns, with an interception as I stated at the top of this.
Amendola the guy brought in to replace Wes Welker, and be Brady’s number one guy has caught 10 passes for 104 yards, and that is in one game. Amendola who has an injury riddled past, was injured and missed the second game of the season.
Julian Edelman the veteran receiver of the bunch, and the only receiver on the team who has played with Brady multiple seasons, filled Amendola’s role in week two. Through 2 games for Edelman he has caught 20 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
Rookie Kenbrell Thompkins has started in the first two games of the season and has caught 6 catches for 89 yards. The other rookie Dobson, who started his first game of the season in week 2, caught 3 passes on 10 targets from Brady for 56 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots have seen numbers like this before in 2006, as the first two games of that season and this season look eerily similar, the Patriots did find their rhythm and went all the way to the AFC Championship game where they could have, and probably should have won. If you ask me, I think this group of wideouts is better than that group of Caldwell, and Gaffney, and I believe they will all find their way into this offense and get in sync with their QB.
Remember in 2006 the Patriots did not have a great tight end like Rob Gronkowski either, who is coming back soon for the Patriots. When Gronk comes back it will help the offense, and should see more points scored with the Patriots.
Brady and Belichick have been off to a cold start on the offensive side of the ball before, and they know how to fix it, and unlike in 2006, they will have a tight end who has averaged double – digit touchdowns a season returning soon.